A holiday is an occasion to celebrate and, of course, to show that special someone that you care. February brings us St Valentine’s Day, with all its clichés and symbols. Three watchmakers have decided to produce a special Valentine’s watch.
While they all stuck with feminine shades and diamonds, each of them focused on different elements, according to their own interpretations of the holiday. Which one will be your heart’s desire?
Blancpain – Villeret Saint-Valentin 2018
This steel 29.20 mm watch created by Blancpain is an ode to love and femininity, showcasing the traditional symbols of Valentine’s Day. The second hand is a cupid’s arrow, its point piercing a red heart. This motif is repeated on the rhodium-plated yellow gold oscillating weight, which is decorated with a heart pierced by sun rays and a cupid’s arrow. The lucky owner of this watch can enjoy the scene through the sapphire back.
Villeret Saint-Valentin 2018 © Blancpain
In addition to the symbols, the watchmaker has also chosen the colour of love. This limited 99-piece edition comes with a red alligator strap, echoing the hue of the rubies that decorate the dial at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. These four rubies are joined by 19 brilliant-cut diamonds scattered over the mother-of-pearl dial, each in its own star setting, a technique in which the gem is held in a metal piece. These jewelled accents continue onto the bezel and lugs, which are decorated with 48 and 20 diamonds, respectively. There’s even a diamond in the crown.
Case back view © Blancpain
The watch features a moon phase display as well as the hours, minutes and seconds indicated by openworked sage leaf hands. Blancpain has updated the complication, placing it at an unusual angle in the 6 o’clock position. The moon has a woman’s face, complete with enigmatic smile and beauty spot. Is there a secret message?
Bovet 1822 – Château de Môtiers 40 « Bouquet de Fleurs »
Flowers are a traditional Valentine’s Day gift. Why not do something a little different this year, and offer flowers in a different form? Unlike a real bouquet, the advantage of the flowers in this miniature painting on white mother-of-pearl is that they will never fade.
Château de Môtiers 40 © Bovet 1822
One of the best areas of the Breguet Type XXI is the motion – that is a bit more than your regular triple enroll chronograph. What’s also extremely important to mention is that, unlike most (or all I can recall) Breguet Type XXI watches, the motion – with its appealing machine-polished gold strand – is visible through a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback window on the back of this watch. Inside the watch is your very well-regarded in-house Breguet caliber 584Q/2. This is the newest version of the grade 584Q, which now contains an “inverted in-line Swiss lever” silicon escapement from the 584Q/2, versus the alloy straight-line lever escapement from the 584Q. This, of course, isn’t the very first Breguet watch to use silicon parts – and it’s very good to observe the newest continue to embrace this technology, as it helps the movements perform better over time.The caliber 584Q/2 operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) using a power reserve of 48 hours. The automatic movement delivers the moment, date, and flyback chronograph, along with a synchronized 24-hour hand which functions as an AM/PM indicator. The chronograph is also a middle minutes and central seconds chronograph, which means you will find just two centrally-mounted chronograph hands to quantify these two sections of time. The subdials around the face have been used for the running moments of the moment, chronograph hour index, along with the synchronized 24-hour hand (which among other things makes setting the time easier). The movement in function and performance is really fine, and easily a highlight for possessing this or alternative Breguet Type XXI watches.
Bovet 1822 has used the successful floral motif to decorate the dial of its exclusive Valentine’s watch. The latest watch in the Château de Môtiers 40 collection uses an innovative technique in which luminescent material is added to the paint, making it visible both day and night. The work is demanding – the painter has to work skilfully to ensure that the picture is exactly the same, in the light and in the dark. So, while the image remains identical, the colours differ. In this model, brighter colours such as yellow grow darker in the absence of light.
Château de Môtiers 40 © Bovet 1822
The floral dial is set in an imposing 40 mm red gold case, framed by a diamond-set bezel. A purple alligator strap completes this two-handed watch, driven by a self-winding mechanical movement with a 42-hour power reserve.
Breguet – Classique Phase de Lune Dame 9085
In honour of Valentine’s Day, Breguet has chosen to present an updated version of the Classique Phase de Lune Dame, limited to 14 pieces in reference to the date. This classically feminine timepiece features a fascinating gem-set bezel, which combines graduated soft pink sapphires and sparkling diamonds. The shades are mirrored on the pin buckle that closes the satin-finished alligator strap in graduated shades of pink. The lugs are deliberately asymmetrical, set with sapphires at 6 o’clock and diamonds at 12.
Classique Phase de Lune Dame 9085 © Breguet
Inside the 30 mm white gold case sits the self-winding calibre 537L with 45-hour power reserve, which can be admired through the sapphire case back. The iconic “hollow apple” Breguet Naples Watch Replica hands in blued steel point to Roman numerals, and rotate around the white mother-of-pearl dial, whose natural variations are reminiscent of clouds. The moon phase complication at 6 o’clock gives the timepiece a final romantic touch. The smiling moon surrounded by stars appears and disappears behind a pink mother-of-pearl heart as the satellite waxes and wanes, while the small seconds hand twirls at the centre of a pink lacquered disc.